Colorado School District Taps Wind to Fight Costs

When the people running the tiny Wray School District in Colorado came to realize there was nothing left to cut in the budget but skin and bones they realized they needed to get creative. So they asked for suggestions and teacher Jay Clapper came up with the idea of jury-rigging a windmill to help provide energy at low cost. Perhaps not surprisingly the entire community pitched in to find a way to energize their schools with a whole new way of thinking, and their creativity in doing so could serve as a model for many others.To cover the wind turbine's $1.8 million cost, school officials turned to the Rotary and Lions clubs, the chamber of commerce, federal grants and local endowments. They convinced the county to scrape up a road to the site, literally, and the city isn't charging for use of the land so long as there’s a wind turbine on it.

And in a fascinating twist, they even went out and sold electricity before they were able to produce it.

A possibility that opened up when NativeEnergy was willing to shell out roughly $260,000 in a lump sum upfront for the expected renewable energy credits over the course of the turbine’s lifespan. Now, they’ll turn around and resell them as renewable-energy credits to turn a profit.

Ultimately, the cost savings will be truly significant. As the 250 foot tall wind turbine is expected to cover the district's power bill over the course of its 20+ years lifespan, which can top $80,000 a year, leaving enough cash left over to boost education while supplying 20 percent of the town's power supply.

And perhaps my favorite quote is from Ron Howard, the Wray schools superintendent who said simply, “We're pretty proud of it."

See also: Thoreau Inspires High School in the Woods , Teen Creates Fashion Statement in Fight Against Global Warming

via:: Denver Post

Tags: Education | Renewable Energy

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